When you sport a chemically relaxed hairstyle, maintenance is essential to prevent dryness, breakage and other damage. To avoid these common pitfalls, repeat this vital mantra: condition and moisturize. Many products that cater to relaxed hair focus on these two staples, but some stand head and shoulders above the rest. While the title of "best" product ultimately relies on your personal preferences and the characteristics of your hair, recommendations from the pros offer some inspiration.
For a day-to-day moisturizing shampoo, Seventeen magazine's official site praises Mizani Thermasmooth Conditioning Shampoo for its ability to create "super-shiny" locks. In an interview with Ladies' Home Journal, salon owner Titi Branch recommends Ojon's Ultra Hydrating Shampoo for its moisturizing ability. Amanda Styles of Bang Salon stresses that shampoo forms the foundation of a solid hair care regimen -- she personally suggests Pureology Antifade Complex Hydrate Shampoo, which packs moisturizing emollients and plenty of protein, both key elements for healthy relaxed hair.
Speaking to Ebony's website, celebrity hairstylist Keka Heron recommends Design Essentials Stimulations Super Moisturizing Conditioner and Keracare Super Reconstructor for relaxed hair. Keracare serves as an occasional deep conditioner, as does Ojon's Restorative Hair Treatment, another recommendation from Titi Branch. If your relaxed hair has a flat look, Seventeen suggests giving it a little tonal depth with Pantene Pro-V Midnight Expressions color-infusing conditioner.
Outstanding Oils and Mega Moisturizers
Because relaxed hair needs plentiful moisture, oils and oil treatments often play a key role in relaxed hair care regimens. As a general tip, Heron recommends moisturizing products with argan, cocoa, ginger and shea. Styles specifically picks Moroccanoil Oil Treatment, while Heron likes Organix Light Moroccan Argan Oil. Speaking to Fox News Magazine, Roche Salon stylist Denia M. Massetti encourages those with relaxed or color-treated hair to use Oribe Signature Moisture Masque.
To ward off dryness, Heron suggests Mizani D'Tangle Moisturizing Leave-in Milk, and to protect relaxed hair during heat styling, she touts the protective power of Tigi Catwalk Straight Haute Iron Spray, while Massetti recommends Kerastase Resistance Fibre Architecture for the same purpose. If your hair has been damaged by excessive relaxing or heat treatment, Heron notes that Joico K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor Treatment works well for restoring the suppleness of brittle hair. Similarly, Seventeen recommends Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition 3-Minute Undo Dryness Reversal Treatment for both relaxed and natural hair, calling it a "superstar hydrator."
Powerful Styling Products
To keep hair moisturized while styling, Branch champions Tresemme Anti-Frizz Secret Smoothing Cream. If you have curly relaxed hair, Seventeen's website touts affordable Got2b Kinkier Gloss 'n Define Curling Spray and the pricier Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls, the latter of which focuses on preventing crunchy textures. For a straighter look, the same source champions Motions Shine Enhancing Pomade, which holds hair in place and prevents flyaways. Styles praises Moroccanoil Luminous Hair Spray, which lends relaxed hair protein, shine and strength.